I am kaitco

a writer's log

Turning over my writing engine Thursday, February 13, 2014

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:42 pm
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I decided on the first of this month that February would be “Finish the First Part of Anne” Month, which involved my writing a minimum of 500 words every day. When I first gave myself this challenge, I thought nothing of it as I’d been able to write as much as a thousand words a day and I’m in the preliminary stages of writing Anne, where everything is pure creation, with little editing. I find myself, however, struggling to meet word count every day.

The sensation is akin to starting my car in this zero-degree weather after I hadn’t started it in more than 24 hours. It can take several seconds to turn over and even then, the stereo doesn’t quite pick up the iPod as well as in warm weather and skipping tracks involves some guess work. Once I let the car warm up a bit, though, everything runs as fine as the day I bought it.

Jumping back into my old writing habits after taking a 10-words-a-day-minimum “sabbatical” over the last couple months has proven quite challenging. Once I force it a bit, the creative juices start flowing like old times, but getting started is still difficult each day.

While I’d like to say “no more sabbaticals, ever,” I know that’s not feasible. I’ve been often told the best way to keep the pipes in my house from freezing and bursting is to allow a faucet to drip slowly overnight to keep the water in constant motion. As I continue pushing through various stages of Anne, I may need to keep up my 500-word daily challenge on any project (and the older I get, the more projects I conjure), just to keep the words dripping and keep my literary pipes from freezing in the interim.

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Starting over Monday, December 12, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Favorite — kaitco @ 11:10 pm
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Today, I wrote 839 words. Some time in September, however, I just stopped writing. After ten months of pouring my heart and soul in Damen, I’d just had enough. It was clear that it was not going to be complete by my birthday and with all the upheaval at first-job, I just plain quit. But, I refused to admit defeat and tried to play catch-up with my posts and my writing. I played that game until the end of November, when I stopped caring about that as well.

I was originally going to title this post “The Great Failure of 2011” but then I realized that this blog and my efforts for this year, haven’t really ended in failure. True, I’ve lost a lot of momentum on this novel, but I’m still writing. I’ve got dozens of stories just waiting to be born and the most important part is that I haven’t given up on Damen entirely. I still imagine that the first draft can be completed before the end of the year; if it doesn’t, however, it’s not the end of the world.

For the past couple months, I’ve kept repeating the same things to myself, over and over: 27 is not 26. Age 27 feels much older than 26 did and it felt this way the day I turned 27. I’m different than I was a year ago and, while a lot of the goal still remain the same, the focus is starting to shift; some in good ways, some not so good. The main thing is that I recognize the change and know that embracing it is my only option.

I’m going to update with the rest of the unpublished posts, but I thought it best to just start over all together, rather than trying to rush everything at the end of the year. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that I can only do so many things. It’s not really possible to write a novel, create sim objects and stories, update websites, learn Japanese, teach myself the piano, take up running, work 60+ hours a week and keep the house clean in one day and still manage to fit basic fundamentals such as eating and sleeping into the same day. Everything has its time.

 

The Eternal Struggle Saturday, September 17, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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As I noted about a month ago, I never run into so many obstacles in a day as when I’m trying to follow a Christian path. This week has been the most difficult for me in terms of writing and posting and I’ve been late almost every day this week with my postings. I attribute this to the new task I’ve given myself prior to writing: studying my bible.

Never has writing become such the unwanted chore as it is now that I am studying before I actually get to write. Even this evening as I attempted to read the chapter, I could barely keep open my eyes, despite being perfectly energetic just twenty minutes earlier when I first opened my bible. Not that I want to let the conspiracy swirl in my head, but I can’t help noticing that all of this started only when I decided to study, not just read, my bible every night prior to writing.

It’s a struggle to walk the Christian path; this is neither the first nor last time I’ll acknowledge this. I think I’m just surprised at how difficult that struggle can be when it’s so easy to do the opposite. It’s so easy to just give up and move on with my life.

It’s so easy to just stop writing for a bit. It’s so easy to sleep away my life every morning and evening. It’s so easy to just let the body go and eat whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s so easy to just live life the way I think I want and just go to hell because, as often noted by one of my friends from another life, “I don’t mind going hell because all my friends will be there anyway.”

Being anything is hard. Being a writer…hard. Being a good worker…hard. Being strong in my principles…hard. Being a Christian…harder than anything I’ve ever put upon myself. But, like my mother has always said, “If it was easy, then everybody would do it.”

I wrote 539 words tonight from what I’ve said. Create…rose, though I failed in my endeavour to study prior to writing, but it’s okay…for now. Tomorrow is another day and I’ve got the determination to keep going regardless of that small whispering voice that asks me why I bother.

 

The bad girl Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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Five years into my Christian walk, it’s often difficult to remember what my “old life” was like. I can remember blurs and pieces here and there, but I can’t recall if much of it was a lot of fun because I didn’t really like myself then and worried about the person I would become.

I like to think that declaring myself a Christian shuns away all wisps of my “bad girl” days, but I know this isn’t true. Every once in a while she appears, often when I least expect it.

Things are going well and there’s no sense that anything could deter me from the path on which I’ve set myself and suddenly, she appears. When she arrives, I start thinking the most bizarre things: Just go ahead and write a little and put off your bible study for another night. It’s just one night…You can have an affair with a married man. You’re not the one who’s married…Why not just quit your job and not do anything? Who could stop you…You’ve got some cash in your wallet and credit card. Get that Bailey’s you’ve been craving and just have a little drink.

The only thing that really keeps from letting the “bad girl” takeover is that it’s just too easy. As my mother often said when I was a child, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.” It’s easy to give into temptation just like it’s easy to procrastinate and let life’s troubles slide, but it’s very, very hard hold onto your principles when all those around you seem to succeed by not having any.

I’m not sure I’ve got anything significant to say about this tonight. I guess it just annoys me that I can no longer do whatever the heck I feel like doing because I now know and fear the repercussions of my actions and I know that I can’t go into sin by asking for forgiveness first.

I wrote 519 words tonight (his focus from his still uneaten sandwich.) and read the 13th chapter of Matthew (unfortunately in reverse order) despite the bad girl’s whispers in my ear that told me I really didn’t want to do either. I can’t say that I never listen to her anymore, but the harder I work to put God first in my life, the easier it is to ignore her.

 

The waiting Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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I know that Jesus and I are working on this patience thing from how I handle having to wait for anything in life. I want the book to be done…right now. This very second. I want my project to be reviewed already. In fact I want it done yesterday. Every once in a while, a tiny sliver of patience will squeeze into my life, like the patience for the car, but the waiting is the hardest aspect life has ever had to offer.

I don’t have much to say about today given that I spent the majority of it stooped at my desk working on this project for first-job, but the waiting for an answer about is probably going to keep me up for half the night.

I wrote 921 words tonight (up with Saturday) and I think I need to add laziness to the list of To-Do projects for Jesus and I since I’m starting to see that it and procrastination seem to go hand in hand.

 

Waiting for the moment Monday, September 12, 2011

I’m not sure when I developed a routine of deep procrastination prior to a project, but I wish I could break the cycle as much as I wish I could avoid being late. I want to say that this started in college when I would wait until the last possible second to write papers or study for exams, as if I were giving myself the added challenge because the coursework wasn’t interesting enough to hold my attention by itself. That’s incorrect though; I’ve been doing this probably since I was fifteen, if not earlier.

When I was fifteen, I set a goal to finish Evan, which I’d started four years earlier, before the new millennium and it wasn’t until I reached the end of December that I put my writing in overdrive to achieve the goal. When I was seventeen, I set myself a goal to finish Alex before I went off to school and I didn’t finish it until about a week before classes started.

This cycle of procrastination brings an odd rush with it. It’s like an extra set of endorphins that steadily release, increasing with the more time I let elapse. The less time I have to accomplish something, the greater the rush I get when I complete it. If I’ve got a paper due at 9am, the rush I get from waiting until midnight the previous night to write it is nowhere near the rush I get when I start at 4am to write the same paper.

I don’t think I intentionally crave this rush as I hadn’t really recognized it for what it was until just now, but I can’t think of any other reason why I’d put off projects, really, really important projects, until the very last second except to get a hit of that rush. It worries me because, as with any drug, you never know which hit is going to be the one to spin you into ruin.

I wrote 594 words today (like a five-year-old girl), but a part of me, however, wishes that I could reach that moment once again to push myself into overdrive for the rest of this novel…just one more hit.

 

A thoughtful day Sunday, September 11, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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It’s hard not to become philosophical when one starts to think about a possible existence that occurs after one’s life is spent. As a Christian, it’s easy to start to think of heaven and its wonders, but as a mortal person with a clear sense that space and time are so intimately infinite, the internal discussion becomes far more interesting.

I’m not sure whether it was the witness of real illness today or the remembrance of how I spent a warm Tuesday morning ten years ago that got me thinking about death today, but once I got started, it was difficult to stop. I know that I shouldn’t really concern myself with it because one or another, my own death won’t bother me; either I’ll be welcomed home or that’s the end. The idea of having to start life over again is only comforting if I could take the memories of this life with me and, though I’ve often been called an “old soul,” no past-life memories have ever seeped into my dreams, so I doubt that’s a real possibility.

Life is just so odd. As my pastor often says, your life is nothing but a dash; 1984 – whenever. Everything that I was, am or ever will be rests in that dash and even that dash isn’t permanent. When I consider my almost 27 years wandering this tiny rock in the midst of a dark sea that’s internally governed by space, time, matter and energy, my life seems like even less than a dash. More like the tiniest electron-sized piece of a single dot out of the millions of pixels on a screen.

I’m not sure what’s got me so focused on life and death and what exists before, after and in between it. All I know is that sometimes I wish for some kind of brain injury that inhibits my ability to think about things like this…but then, I dislike wishing for things I really don’t want in the end.

I wrote just 503 words today (when Damen had first come to visit) and I think, with this project for first-job pressing, it’s perhaps time to for some sleep.

 

 
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